Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Retouching workflow with Photoshop and Lightroom, pt. 2: Smoothing skin, part of Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques.
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In the previous movie, we explored how we could use Photoshop in order to clean up small blemishes. We then saved the file and brought it back into Lightroom. Now, when we zoom in on this in Lightroom, one of the things we'll notice is the skin looks really good. We have nice detail there, or at least reduction of details, and everything is looking great. Yet, let's say that we want to smooth the skin, because this is this idealized beauty photograph. Well, in Lightroom, you can use the Adjustment brush to achieve skin smoothing more efficiently, and many times with much better results than you can in Photoshop.
You already know how to do this. Here we press the K key. We then go to the Effect pulldown menu, and we choose Soften Skin. Now, because this is a glamour or beauty photo, we want to bring our sharpness down. We want even more of a smooth look. Our f low, we'll leave right about 65 or so. And then we want a nice-sized brush, lots of feather there to transition this out. We're going to go ahead and just paint across these areas. Now, what we'll be able to do by painting across these areas, like I said, is add some smoothing to the skin that really wouldn't be able to be achieved in Photoshop.
Even with some of the best Photoshop techniques, what ends up happening is many times the skin looks a little bit smudgy, yet here what we can do is really kind of honor the pixel structure and not smudge things out so much as remove that midtone contrast. Now, when you work in Photoshop and when you work on skin, a lot of times you can come up with good results, but those take a lot of time. And here, we're going to use Lightroom because we can achieve great results without investing a huge amount of time. I'm just going to go ahead and paint around the image, or paint this effect in, which essentially blurs or softens the skin here. And I'm looking to be pretty consistent. Change my brush size to work above the eye there.
The nice thing about this is because we took the time to work in Photoshop to reduce and simplify--to remove all those little blemishes--we can now do really quick skin smoothing inside of Lightroom. In other words, what we're trying to do, or what we're starting to do here, is take advantage of the best of both worlds. Now, it would be a little bit tricky for you to see the results because these movies get small, yet here I'll press the Backslash key. Here is before and then after. I'll zoom in. Why don't I zoom way in up to the forehead here, so you can actually see this? And then press the Backslash key.
There is before, so you see a lot of structure there. There is after: nice, smooth skin. The less sharpness, the less texture you'll have. Also, if you want a little more texture, bring your sharpness up and your clarity up a bit. But here we want to have a relatively low amount of texture because we're going for a little bit more of an idealized look. All right! Well, now that we've done that, we could then continue our post-production workflow. Let's say that the vision for this image is to make it a little bit muted, so we have muted colors, with maybe some nice yellows on top of it.
So let's go ahead and do that. Press the K key to close the Adjustment brush. Then go into the Basic panel. Here I'm going to add a little bit of fill light, also some contrast, some clarity there. And then I'm going to go down to my saturation slider, and I'm going to remove some color there, so I have this kind of muted look, and then add a bit of warmth, which will add kind of a uniform look across the image. Here we have before and then after. Subtle, yet you get the point. And the point is you can work in Lightroom and Photoshop together, and you can take advantage of both of these programs in order to come up with really stunning results.
- Maximizing file compatibility
- Speeding up the workflow with automation
- Working with catalogs, collections, and folders
- Diagramming multiple catalogs and computers
- Performing and restoring backups
- Setting up tethered capture
- Advanced retouching techniques, such as eye enhancement and blemish reduction
- Working with color profiles
- Perfecting prints from Lightroom
- Creating custom watermarks
- Making a custom web gallery
- Exporting and publishing photos